Review of Kontakt 2
A Good Soft Sampler gets Better
I've been using
The programmers at Native Instruments clearly did some
hard thinking about what users need in a soft sampler with this upgrade.
Perhaps the most striking improvement is in the ergonomics of the interface.
I do a lot of sampling and instrument making here at the TweakLab, and I can
tell you this interface is a joy to use once you invest the time in learning it.
If you already have used Kontakt, you have a leg up, but don't think you're not
going to have to study the manual. Some of the new stuff, like the
new database functions and script editor, go beyond what clicking around can
The new database is an attempt to help you solve the
problem of access to your samples and instruments, multis and banks, which, if
your system is like mine, may cover several partitions on many local and
networked drives. Rather than browse all these directories looking for
that long lost choir sample you used in 1997, your database builds a single list
of every .wav, aif or Kontakt file you have filtering out everything else.
You can also create a "quickload" menu for those instruments, banks,
use most often. (This replaces the old "favorites" list). The
database is also searchable, so "choir" for example, finds all the instruments
that have choir in the name. This is nice for finding the best instrument
you have when tracking a song.
Here's the list from NI.
REX I & II™,
Roland S-5x, S-7x™,
MKII, SDII™ (Mac) ,
Pulsar™ + STS™,
BATTERY 1 & 2™
Quite an exhaustive list. But as always,
don't think they are all going to work flawlessly. I've tried EXS,
EOS, E4B, E3/Esi, and Halion. The Import modules just got an update
with Kontakt's 2.1 update (now available) and its better, but still,
probably one of the buggiest part of the system.
Speaking of Libraries, Kontakt 2 comes with a really good
one. 15GB if you like to count. But it isn't just quantity.
You get an excellent selection of the Vienna
Symphonic Library, (known as VSL), and they sound beautiful. Lots of
other stuff, something to please everyone
In Use: I use Kontakt 2 in Logic
Pro and in Cubase SX. Both work fine with Kontakt2. Have not
tried Sonar yet. One thing about SX, when you launch Kontakt 2, it
creates all the midi and audio channel strips automatically. In
Logic it works like all other software instruments. If you want
multiple outs, you have to create them in the environment. Its not
Works with Kore: Kontakt
2 can save presets into Kore's database if you want to see them show up
in lists with the presets from your other software instruments.
Kore comes with the Kontakt 2 library already setup in Kore.
Finally, I have to mention the problem with font
size, which they enlarged in 1.5. Now they are tiny again.
C'mon NI guys, try to read these on a big 23" monitor at native
resolution. (ed note: they may have
listened, an update to Kontakt 2 again restored larger fonts).
Fortunately, you can drag and drop from your computer's
directories. So I made a huge fonted directory in the Mac's Finder
using a "saved search" in Spotlight. That made me happy!
So how does it work overall? Its great.
Fast. Deep. Fun! Great sounds, and if you like to tweak,
great possibilities. Hats off to the programmers at NI for bringing
us a great product.
Want to talk about Kontakt 2? Go to the
Kontakt 2 topic
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